President Biden Commends and Welcomes Maryland Marijuana Pardons

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says that President Biden commends and welcomes Maryland’s move to pardon over 170,000 marijuana-related charges.

On Monday, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed an executive order enacting one of the country’s most extensive clemency measures for marijuana-related offenses. The move is expected to impact 100,000 people and pardon 175,000 charges. It comes less than a year after the state legalized recreational marijuana.

“I’m ecstatic that we have a real opportunity with what I’m signing to right a lot of historical wrongs,” said Governor Moore. “If you want to be able to create inclusive economic growth, it means you have to start removing these barriers that continue to disproportionately sit on communities of color.” He described the pardons as “the most extensive and assertive” executive action nationwide in addressing criminal justice disparities as more states relax marijuana laws.

At a recent press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Governor Moore’s order. She responded, “We certainly welcome the news, and it builds on the president’s work to reform how the nation approaches marijuana.” She added, “[President Biden] has been clear that no one, no one, should be in jail just for possessing marijuana. And he has a record number of pardons for prior federal offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana.”

In late 2022, President Biden issued an executive order pardoning thousands of federal marijuana offenses. He called on governors “to do their part and to take action” by issuing state-level pardons, something several governors have now done.

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